The Poems of William Cowper: Volume II: 1782-1785

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Clarendon Press, Dec 28, 1995 - Poetry - 484 pages
This volume includes some of Cowper's finest works, among them such well-known short poems as `The Poplar-Field', `Epitaph on a Hare', `On the Loss of the Royal George' (here restored to the form in which Cowper wrote it, and accompanied by the music for which it was written), and `The Diverting History of John Gilpin' which, two years after its first anonymous publication in a newspaper, suddenly achieved huge popularity in a series of public readings. It also contains Cowper's masterpiece, The Task - one of the most approachable of the great English poems. Cowper's blank verse is a supple instrument, capable of every effect, from the parody-georgic on the growing of cucumbers to the visionary conclusion of Book VI. At the centre of the poem stands the poet himself, presented with wry humour and deep poignancy. The texts are based on manuscripts as well as early editions of the poetry, and are supplied with textual annotation and commentary. In the case of The Task, this is the first fully annotated edition for over a hundred years; its commentary relates the poem to the period in which it was written more fully than any previous edition.

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Contents

COWPER AND HIS POETRY 17821785
ix
TEXTUAL INTRODUCTION
xx
SYMBOLS SHORT TITLES AND ABBREVIATIONS
xxvii
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

William Cowper (1731-1800) was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. John D. Baird is at University of Toronto.

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